Lihit Lab Smart Fit Actact Stand Pen Case Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter.)

You can always turn to Lihit Lab for stationery container innovation, and the Smart Fit Actact Stand Pen Case is definitely in keeping with that reputation. It's a tubular zip-top case made almost entirely of silicone. It's soft and pliable, but keeps its cylindrical shape. The base is reinforced, and it's designed to pop in like a button, lifting the pens above the zipper level, so that the case can also be used as a desktop pen holder. The design is fun and clever, and won an ISOT grand prize for functionality.

I think my favorite part of the case is actually the safety insert, which cautions against using the case as a pen launcher, and also suggests that you don't lean directly over your quiver of pens as you pop the bottom in. Of course, in the name of science, I tried breaking these rules so that I could fully report on the safety of the case. Leaning over the case as I popped the bottom didn't ever result in gouged eyes or even any facial contact with the pens whatsoever. I can see how it COULD happen, so definitely do not load this up with sharpened pencils and stare into it as you slam it onto the desk--but you also don't need to lean back or wear safety goggles or anything.

It works pretty well as a pen launcher. Holding the open case at about a 45-degree angle and popping the button in sent an unladen Staedtler Triplus Fineliner about three feet. Not bad for something that is actually supposed to hold all of your pens in one place. And by not bad, I mean not good, because it's supposed to hold all of your pens in one place.

As far as actually holding things, I think the case leaves a lot to be desired. It's slim, so it doesn't hold very many pens--especially if you're using pens with thicker grips or clips, like Zebra Sarasas or Pilot Juices. It's also too short to hold full-length pencils. And while the tubular design is nice in its simplicity, there is no interior compartment for accessories like erasers or leads.

The shape also makes it a bit awkward to carry in a bag. It doesn't collapse flat enough to slip into narrow pockets, so it either needs to take up space in the main compartment, or use the spot reserved for your water bottle. So I'm not wild about it for pen carry, and it doesn't hold enough to be storage. It does function well as a pen cup, but if I'm going to use something to just sit on my desk and hold pens, I'm more likely to pick a pretty mug.

I do like the fact that it's completely and easily washable. In fact, I'd recommend it for kids if it weren't for its ballistic capabilities.

So while I do think the design is clever and there is certainly an audience for a convertible case like this, it doesn't float my boat. But it could probably sink my battleship.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

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Posted on December 30, 2016 and filed under Lihit Labs, Pen Case.